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The Origins of the Renaissance

The Adoration of the Magi” by Gentile da Fabriano, “The coronation of the Virgin” by Lorenzo Monaco, the frescoes by Fra’ Giovanni Angelico in St. Mark’s convent in Florence, the façade of the Fratenita dei Laici in Arezzo, the Fonte Gaia in Siena, the statues of Orsanmichele in Florence, the “Annunciation” by Jacopo della Quercia in S. Gimignano, the frescoes by Spinello Aretino in the Oratory of Santa Caterina all’Antella... are just some of the masterpieces which document the birth of a new artistic movement. It was originated in Florence and Tuscany at the very beginning of the XVth century and in the 1800 it was defined “Renaissance”. Museums, palaces and religious buildings have hundreds of paintings, sculptures, frescoes which may be considered “transition pieces”. In Empoli and in Sansepolcro, in the Florentine basilica of Santa Croce as in the Sienese town-hall and many other locations there are works illustrating the slow transition from the medieval art to the new artistic language. This evolution was possible thanks to the travels of the masters like the Limbourg brothers, Giovanni da Milano, Pisanello, Alvaro Pirez, Ambrogio di Baldese and many others across Italy and Europe too. Of basic importance were also the export of art items, the commissions by rich families, cardinals, and last but not least the guilds of the merchants. It is possible to arrange various custom-designed tours of one day or more, in the towns as well as through the countryside to explore this interesting and splendid period.

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